President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account Thursday morning to tell Puerto Rico that it won’t be receiving federal aid “forever” and that the island was a “disaster” before Hurricane Maria hit. Later, CNN’s Jim Acosta reported that those tweets were directly aimed at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, as Trump feels she continued to be too critical of the federal response to the devastating storm.
Following the tweets, Cruz responded via Twitter by calling Trump the “hater in chief” and stating that the Puerto Rican people will not be left to die. Thursday evening, she appeared on CNN and explained to anchor Don Lemon that Trump is treating Puerto Rico differently than the rest of the United States.
“He’s treating Puerto Rico different than the U.S treated Haiti,” Cruz said, referencing America’s response to a Haitian earthquake. “For some reason, he’s taken all of his anger out in Puerto Rico.”
She added, “We have paid our dues, and there are American citizens here in Puerto Rico. This is a nation. There’s a big disconnect between the big heart of the volunteers and the people that are here working on the ground and, frankly, the big mouth of the President of the United States. It continues to add insult to injury.”
Lemon also asked Cruz about House Speaker Paul Ryan essentially backing Trump’s tweets when the congressman said that Puerto Rico needs to “stand on its own two feet” regarding its fiscal problems.
“I think this is like a virus,” she responded. “People start getting the illness from one place to the other.”
Cruz would later go on to state that it isn’t that “the most powerful country in the world can’t get enough water into Puerto Rico, it’s that “maybe they don’t want to.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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